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SKYSCAPES Artists have been fascinated by the sky no less than scientists, especially the sky of the American West. This meteorological showcase stretches uninterrupted over flat lands for miles, a giant canvas for nature's limitless elaborations of light and color. Capturing those ephemeral images has been a challenge to generations of artists. Two with original approaches are photographer Richard Misrach and ceramic artist Don Jones.

The images in Misrach's The Sky Book (Arena Editions, $65) are at once objective recordings (he gives the date, time, and place where each was taken) and subjective expressions. The cloud covers, celestial bodies, and especially the pure colors that transform the vault over Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah have an abstract purity that evokes wonder and inspires meditation.

Jones's work with clay is equally evocative. To create what he calls "atmospheres," the Albuquerque artist throws on a potter's wheel spheres, ovoids, cones, and tori, then decorates them with his visions of the colors and clouds of New Mexico's day and night skies, and fires the vessels in a kiln. The result: shimmery, sculptural skyscapes that you can hold in your hands.

Experience Clay Textbook image
Best of Pottery
Header image header image 2  
Reunion Site for MSU Masters Degree in Art Earners in 1969
This is a fairly current picture taken of Don in his studio in South Dakota, USA.

Don was one of the five people chosen to become Graduate Teaching Assistant while earning a Masters Degree at MSU.


1969 Master of Applied Arts, Montana State University
Bozeman, MT. Ceramics/printmaking

1967 Bachelor of Fine Art, University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT. Ceramics

2006-2007 - Substitue teacher in the Rapid City Area School District
2004-2006  Sales Associate, Avila Retail.  Counter sales for various locations at the Albuquerque Sunport Airport
2003-2004  Gallery sales staff for Mariposa Gallery of Contemporary Craft and Fine Arts in Albuquerque, NM.  Receive work from artists, hang shows, sell consigned work and maintain computer records.

1993-2003  Started and maintained wholesale and retail pottery business: (Don Jones Ceramics Albuquerque, NM) selling hand-thrown spheres and cast spheres nationwide.  Accepted into A.C.E. Craft venues in Baltimore and San Francisco and  Buyers Market in Philadelphia.  Shipped work to approx. 250 galleries.

1983-1991  Fine Arts Support Assistant, Cal State University, Bakersfield.
Directed student activity in construction of art projects in wood shop.  Maintained equipment and supplies in the following art areas:  printmaking, photography, ceramics, painting and design.  Ordered supplies and equipment for 7 faculty members. Set up and ran theater lights and sound for numerous musical events both indoor and outdoor venues.  Preparator for large campus art gallery.  Taught art appreciation as a temporary lecturer.

1979-1983  Professional exhibiting artist in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Sold colored pencil drawings from 11” x 15” to 3’x 8’
1978-1979  Traveled extensively throughout Mexico, Central and South America and the U.S.
1969-1973  Active Duty, United States Air Force.  Taught in the initial team program in Race Relations for active duty Mather AFB. CA
1966-1967  Employed by University of Utah to run Ceramics Lab and teach beginning and advanced pottery as a Senior student.


Numerous group and solo shows as a student and in the Air Force
3 Solo shows and invited artist in shows during my stay in Santa Fe, NM mostly colored pencil drawings of the sky.
1982- present
Numerous pottery and drawing shows as a professional potter and craftsman.  Selected for exhibits in galleries throughout the U.S. Including Feats of Clay X by Lincoln Arts.  Winner of 2 merit awards and a purchase award in that show. A more detailed listing is available on request.



Ceramics Monthly Magazine.  January 1995  “Atmospheres” by Don Jones
Wind and Weather catalog.   Cover artist Spring 1995
American Style Magazine.   Spring 1998  “Contemporary crafts with celestial themes”
Arts and Activities magazine  Oct 1997  “An Interview with Don Jones”
»Discover Magazine  Special Issue  The best science stories of 2000 
“skyscapes” ceramic atmospheres by Don Jones


Experience Clay   textbook by Maureen Mackey  Davis studio series publication  2003
The Best of Pottery Volume 1 by Jonathan Fairbanks and Angela Fina Quarry books 1996
The Best of Pottery Volume 2 by Angela Fina and Christopher Gustin
Quarry books 1998
The Ceramic Design Book  intro by Val Cushing   Lark Publications  1998
Represented artist in a Special Series of Educational posters by Artchart explaining the entire ceramic process with pictures of artists work. Crystal Productions 2000.  This series is on display in hundreds of schools throughout the country.